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All-button custom Atari 2600 controller


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I've been working with @RetroGameBoyz the past few weeks on a custom controller. I've always wanted an arcade Asteroids style controller and it arrived today. The case is compact and the buttons are a little smaller than standard arcade buttons to accommodate the case, but everything felt good and comfortable. Mike is great to work with. This is my fourth custom Atari controller from him (and soon a fifth -- a 4-way joystick).


Unfortunately, I couldn't get Asteroids to work on my 7800 -- not sure why. I tried the bin with the Harmony cart and also an actual Asteroids cart but with both, the screen flickered on and off. I also had trouble with a few other games (e.g., Space Rocks, Phoenix)... maybe it's my setup with s-video from 7800 to RetroTINK 2X to HDMI and TV. I found that the RetroTINK can be finicky with certain signals. I actually have on hand an s-video to HDMI converter box that I ordered a month ago. I'll try that in the morning -- fingers crossed.


In any case, I haven't had a chance to try the controller with the game that I most wanted to use it for, but it worked great with Star Castle, Gravitar, and Galaxian. Some games just feel more natural with only buttons.




Edited by socrates63
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21 hours ago, Kaboomer said:

How does it feel with Space Invaders or Champ Games' Galagon?

Feels great! If I remember correctly, the arcade Space Invaders only had button controls. Games with only left and right joystick movement also feel good. I tried Galaxian earlier and Galagon also felt very natural.

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This would be very useful as the second controller for Defender II. I really dislike how that game requires a player to drop the first controller to access certain functions (e.g. Hyperspace) using the second. It makes an already challenging game close to impossible.



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  • 3 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Q*bert doesn't use diagonal joystick inputs on the 2600:




While your character Q*bert may move diagonally on the screen, the inputs are simply made with the 4 cardinal directions, wherein the joystick is rotated 45 degrees clockwise.  This is the same way it was done in the arcade cabinets.  


With that said, I don't think my brain could handle attempting the use of a 5 button "Asteroids" controller for Q*bert.

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